Tik Tak — not to be confused with the social network by a similar name! — is a new shared taxi service that was launched by Egged.
The service has been operating for some months now in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, as well as Haifa in the North. So this morning, when I had an errand to run in town, I seized on the opportunity to try it out for myself.
What’s the idea here?
Tik Tak uses 10 seat minivans in order to bring patrons from A to B. The minivans are equipped with a moving map display to show progress along the route and decked out in a variation of Egged’s traditional green colors.
You reserve space on the minivan using a smartphone application (Android, iOS; at the time of writing there is no web interface for placing bookings).
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Tik Taks are kind of like the monit sherut services that have been in use for some time throughout the country — most famously in Tel Aviv but also between major cities in Israel.
The difference is that Tik Tak is operated by Egged and you use an app to pre-reserve space on the ride.
Tik Taks are a little more expensive than a bus. But — because they’re shared — they’re cheaper than private taxis. Think of it as a sort of middle-ground option between the two. Currently, the service is only running in Haifa and Jerusalem. But I recommend keeping an eye on the Egged website to see if the project expands (although given transport facilities in Tel Aviv, I think it’s unlikely that Egged will be able to squeeze into the market there).
How do I order a Tik Tak?
As mentioned, Egged doesn’t have a website for booking the rides. Rather you need to download and install a smartphone application. Links below:
Download Egged Tik Tak App
If you don’t want to follow these links, you can also just search for Tik Tak or תיק תק in the app stores:
Once you’ve got the app installed you’ll need to provide some details including your name, phone number (this will be verified by SMS code), and credit card/payment details.
The process will take a couple of minutes so if you know you’re going to be in a rush go through the setup steps in advance of your planned journey so that you’re set up and good to go when it’s time to book.
The service (again – at the time of writing) runs between 06:00-21:00 both in Jerusalem and Haifa.
The first user action is to search for your destination. The app integrates with Google Maps so you should have no trouble finding where you need to get to:
Once you’ve inputted your point of origin and your destination the app will present you with your transport options.
If a Tik Tak is available, then that will appear first with the Tik Tak logo underneath. If it’s not, the app will let you know that no Tik Taks are available and present you with your bus options instead.
Here’s where a bit of caution is advised.
When I tried to book my first Tik Tak, the supposedly real-time arrival estimate jumped from seven minutes to nineteen minutes immediately after I placed the booking.
As I was in a rush, I ended up taking a taxi instead thereby throwing 20 NIS down the … Tik Tak.
(Note: on the subject of cancellations you have to read the fine print. The screen below indicated that I could cancel the booking for no charge within 10 minutes of ordering it. But I was charged for the previous ride which I cancelled immediately after booking — and other navigation menus make it appear as if cancellations always incur the fee. Egged customer service is also not so hot – at least in my opinion. I asked why I had been charged for a cancelled order and got an email response looking for “more details” even after supplying screenshots with every possible detail pertaining to the journey. There’s only so far one can go to contest a 20 NIS charge…)
Lesson to be learned: factor in buffer time if ordering on-the-fly as — at least based on this one experience — the arrival times can be a little ambitious unless you order in advance.
Speaking of arrivals … you’ll be sent to a Tik Tak pick-up point.
This will be a bus stop. Likewise the drop-off points use the bus network. The difference is that you’re travelling in a minivan rather than a bus and pick-ups and drop-offs are made only on demand which obviously speeds up the journey considerably versus a bus that pulls into every stop along the route.
Another cool feature of Tik Tak … you can pre-book your journey.
Having learned the lesson from my first unsuccessful attempt to Tik-Tak my way into town, I decided to leave a 15 minute buffer before my appointment — and I reserved the journey about 2 hours’ ahead of time.
For the purpose of this post, I checked out what would happen if I hit the cancel button (again) immediately after ordering. Again it appeared as if there would be a charge for the full ride value. So definitely be careful about this. (There is a customer service functionality built into the app).
Thankfully, in terms of arrival times at least, it was second time lucky for me.
My Tik Tak pulled into the arranged pickup point on Derekh Hevon almost to the minute on schedule (in actual fact two minutes beforehand). I didn’t have to show ID. The driver just yelled my name and I hopped on. But again, I was the only passenger.
My phone received push notifications updating me about the updated arrival time before I even left the house.
The minivan was comfortable and I was whisked from Derekh Hevon to my destination in town in just over ten minutes.
I was also the only passenger — undoubtedly a manifestation of the fact that the app hasn’t picked up much traction yet — so I also effectively enjoyed a minivan taxi journey to myself.
The taxi itself is comfortable and there’s a moving map display showing progress along the route.
I was also able to follow my journey in real time through the app:
My ride ended up costing 15 NIS — only 9 NIS more (roughly) than a bus journey. For the speed (comparable to a taxi) it was quite the bargain. Those who intend to use the service more regularly can purchase a kartisia (ticket book) for 10 journeys. At the time of writing the cost is 120 NIS. Trips cost between 10-15 NIS if paid for individually.
Other Things To Know About Tik Tak
The Tik Tak service is suitable to those with mobility issues.
All minivans are equipped with step-on ramps.
Passengers with mobility problems can inform the driver in advance when booking through the apps.
The After Aliyah Rating
Overall, Tik Tak delivered a very impressive customer experience from pre-booking through to the journey itself. The app was seamless, the minivan was clean, and the whole experience was pleasant.
My only criticism is that I have some doubts about the cancellation policy. I was charged for a ride I never took because of an inaccurate arrival time and customer service hasn’t been helpful in resolving the issue.
For those looking for a shared taxi around Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel, Tik Tak is definitely worth a ride.
For More Information
Egged – Tik Tak (Hebrew)
Article ID: 807